Typhoon Melor, local name Nona, made landfall in the Philippines at 5:00 a.m., Dec. 15. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) had issued a tropical cyclone warning.
Typhoon Melor’s estimated rainfall can amount from heavy to intense within the 250 km diameter of the typhoon, according to PAGASA. Flashfloods and landslides are expected while storm surges of up to 3 meters are possible, PAGASA said. The National Disaster Risk reduction and Management Council or NDRRMC is now on red alert status as it prepares for the strong typhoon, CNN Philippines reported.
UNICEF had been monitoring Typhoon Melor. “Our teams in the Philippines are monitoring the situation with Typhoon Melor, ready to provide support to children and families where needed. Flooding, landslides and storm surges are expected,” the organization said in a statement.
According to a report from the Agence France-Presse, more than 700,000 people in the central Philippines had evacuated. Authorities braced for rescue operations as Typhoon Melor hit northern Samar, a Philippine farming island where 1.5 million people are residing the report said. The winds had been gusting in a speed of up to 185 kilometers per hour since Monday.
The Albay province southeast of Luzon Island was evacuated by 600,000 people. They fear that heavy rain might result to landslide on the slopes of Mayon Volcano. “The whole province is now a ghost town. We shut all establishments. No school, no work,” Albay governor Joey Salceda was quoted as saying. A nearby town was also evacuated by 130,000 people.
The Philippines was heavily beaten by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The NDRRMC confirmed there were 6,300 fatalities across the country. Red Cross estimated that 22,000 people were missing while Google Person Finder listed 65,000 missing.